Yacht owners that have become active on the business side of the industry have called for active changes in its models during a panel at the Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam. This follows the launch of their platforms aimed at reducing charter by slashing booking fees. "Stop your disrespect." Ahoy Club's Ian Malouf advised the market.



Attending the panel were Australian businessman Ian Malouf, founder of Ahoy Club and fresh of a $578 million exit in the waste management space, Philippe Bacou, founder of Yotha and Matty Zadnikar, founder of SeaNet. All founded yachting businesses in recent years stepping over from yacht ownership. The debate was moderated by Martin Redmayne.

According to Malouf, his primary goal is to improve the market and his secondary one is to make money. "I think we’re portrayed as a one click and you’re there business, but we have a large team and we are a full-service digital platform." Malouf commented. "We have the cheapest structure in the business and we expect it will go lower before it goes higher."


Malouf's 54m Mischief

Historically resistant to change, yachting has reacted defensively in recent quarters to the entry of these new actors. Malouf described their behaviour as "cartel-like". According to Philippe Bacou, the market is responding aggressively due to the platforms reducing commissions.

"When you provide something that is automatic instead of manual it reduces costs. What we are doing is making savings here." Bacou detailed.  "Of course, we all want to make money, but it comes down to global satisfaction."

Ahoy Club and Yotha's web-platforms power an online search of available yachts for charter, a digital booking process and communication system with the yacht and their concierge team. Thanks to automation, the companies say they can reduce booking prices by near 15%.


Bacou's 43m Philmi

“Their behaviour has been poor but expected,” Malouf described. “We’ve been treated like we’re coming into an industry of brokers who think they own the boats. Our pricing structure is cheaper and we’re being told by many that it’s not acceptable and that it is an act of price-fixing.”

When a representative from a large brokerage house asked Malouf whether it would have been better to go to industry bodies like MYBA or LYBRA and try to improve the sector from the inside, the Australian businessman responded.

"Sometimes you have to break things to fix things and that’s what needs to happen. You’re talking about joining arms and walking down the road, which we’re witnessing and it’s a behaviour that’s unpalatable. The question of why didn’t we go to the industry is the reason we are here. For you to even ask me that question is a joke."


One of Seanet's Benettis

"You expect me to bend a knee for the incumbent and say, is it ok for me to enter your industry? Well, you don’t own this industry and it needs a shake, is getting a shake and will be shaken by us. What happens in a market is you have a business and competitors come in and compete, and whoever provides the best service for the best price and for the best commodity usually ends up with the best business."

The representative responded, as the market typically retorts, saying large brokerage houses offer a knowledgeable brokers, which can't be matched by these digital platforms. Pointing out Ahoy Club has a concierge team, Malouf went further, saying some central agents won't present valid charters that Ahoy brings to them.



"A few central agents will block a charter from us getting to the owner. Our remedy to that is that we respect your CA agreement until you breach it by not recommending our choice. That’s when we’ll go to the owner – it’s simple and fair. We’ve done over 100 charter contracts so far – we make no money off the small charters but they’ll come through. You talk about building relationships and that’s what we’re doing."

Malouf, Bacou and Zadnikar all encouraged the market at the end of the debate to focus on the end client and not to skim clients for commissions. "Put your commission drive aside and focus more on what the client wants." Zadnikar outlined. 

"Stop your disrespect." Malouf added on.



Matty Zadnikar comes from the safety monitoring space, having founded and run Z-Group for over 20 years. In 2014, the group was acquired by American industrial safety group Total Safety, which allowed Zadnikar to transform his yachting hobby into a business. Founding the company, Zadnikar announced an investment of €32 million to jump start SeaNet's fleet in the Med, which is based on a co-ownership model.

Made up of Azimut and Benetti yachts of up to 40 meters, the idea is to give owners an option to buy only part of a yacht and improve its efficiency. On a 93ft Benetti Delfino, priced at €9 million, SeaNet lets you buy a 25% ownership stake for €2.3m with annual running costs of just over €110,000 instead of €450,000. This set up grants buyers a total of 7 weeks of use of that type of boat in the SeaNet fleet for 7 weeks per year.



Ian Malouf built his wealth in waste management in Australia with the DADI Group that was ultimately acquired by Bingo for $578 million earlier this year. With the help of his daughter, Ellie Malouf, the two have now switched their attention over to yachting with Ahoy Club, a market that they're now positioning themselves to try and dominate.

Owner of the 54-meter Mischief, which Malouf is also marketing for charter through Ahoy from €137,650 per week in the off-season, the Australian businessman recently listed the yacht for sale at an asking price of €24 million.



Philippe Bacou also launched his yacht platform, Yotha, in 2018 after 15 years of experience on the ownership and charter side of the market. Earlier in 2018, the French businessman raised an additional €1.4 million from strategic investors to develop and launch Yotha. His 43-meter ISA, Philmi was delivered in 2014.

Latest News

New 27-meter Canados 888 Evo sold
A new-build 27.02-meter hull by Italian shipyard Canados Yachts has been sold by Northrop & Johnson is set for delivery in 2020 as a Canados 888 Evo model. In 2018 Canados 888 was awarded as Most Functional Yacht. Also in May 2019, the first Canados 120' Caesar should be delivered.Canados is one of a few Italian builders capable of producing one-off versions of its models that are fully customized with tailormade interiors. One of the yacht’s most exceptional features is her four-meter tender garage accommodating a Williams 3.85 meter jet tender, and a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer system. She comes with a hard top that provides guests with ample shade when enjoying her gigantic flybridge.The Canados 88’ is the direct evolution of the Classic 86’ of which 46 have been delivered. One of the Canados clients had four 86’s built over the course of 13 years! The interior of the Canados 888 Evo is being conceptualized by Rome-based designer Michela Reverberi. All in-house built furniture has been designed with rounded edges equipped with indirect strip LED lights which, when lit in the dark, give the impression that the furniture is floating.Built with an Aramat/Kevlar hull and superstructure, the 88’ Evolution comes with a reversed deck saloon overlooking the water and gigantic saloon floor to ceiling windows. The main deck layout remains an example of practicality with its oversize saloon with direct sea view, thanks to the cut-down bulwarks, dining room, Boffi galley, day head and crew dinette in the wheelhouse. On the flybridge, guests will find two corner sofas with drinks tables looking out over the stern. Another L-shaped sofa is placed on the port side and looks forward to the central alfresco dining area, where eight guests can savour a meal beneath the hardtop that folds back to let in the sunshine. The accommodation total is for eight guests across four cabins. The lower deck still offers its reputed four cabin layout with a VIP to the bow, two twin guest cabins to the sides and the full beam owner’s suite in the centre. Bathrooms are equipped with custom-made wash basins in Striato Olimpico marble.She capable of cruising at 27 knots and can reach a top speed of 32 knots, the Canados 888 Evolution 48 is powered by two Caterpillar C32 Acert 1,925hp diesel engines. The asking price was €5,240,000@Photos by Canados Yachts
Espen Oeino and SilverYachts present eco-friendly 35m SpaceCat
Australian yacht builder SilverYachts has revealed a new line out of its aluminium superyachts portfolio at Singapore Yacht Show 2019. The 35.5-metre power catamaran SpaceCat was designed by long term SilverYachts collaborator Espen Øino.The vessel is conceived environmentally friendly thanks to her lightweight low-resistance aluminium hull. Within a 13.3-metre beam, the SpaceCat will feature spacious living areas, with 575-square-metre external space and 300 square metres of living areas inside.The yacht will offer accommodation to up to 12 guests within a master suite, two doubles and two twin cabins, one equipped with two Pullman beds. The crew of eight can be housed in a double captain’s cabin, two twins and one triple cabin.A swimming pool aft and vast deck storage space for tenders and toys are listed among the SpaceCat’s key exterior features. The yacht will be powered by four Volvo IPS 1050 engines to a top speed of 21 knots and cruising speed of 16 knots.Construction of the first SpaceCat unit is scheduled to begin in May 2019, at the yard’s new facility in the Guangdong Province, China. The latter has been operating since last summer and is set to be the main construction facility for the new series of vessels. According to SilverYachts, the new model is overseen as a production line, with two units built shortly and further extended to 10 vessels at the same time.Meanwhile, Espen Oeino, the creator of some of the world’s most iconic yachts, has been reported working on several projects at different stages of completion since the beginning of the year. Among others, the list comprises the world’s largest explorer superyacht REV, a 64-metre VSY superyacht Project 003 and 90-metre Oceanco DreAMBoat.
TOP 10 stories of the week
#1. 135m gigayacht concept California by Kurt Strand.Kurt Strand, yacht designer from Southern California, has presented his latest ambitious project, a 135-metre mega yacht “California”. The contemporary design of the vessel with impressive interior volume of 8,000 GT will be trademarked with large glass walls, glass balconies, foldable glass doors and retractable sections at the living areas. Apart from maximum speed of 20 knots provided by 3 Azipods propels, the yacht can run at a reduced speed of 11 knots for up to 5 hours on the battery power of 60-tonne lithium-ion battery bank.#2. The Black Pearl code: 72m sailing yacht concept Osseo.Serbian designer Igor Jankovic has revealed a new 72-metre concept of a high-performance sailing yacht named Osseo. The concept is trademarked with a carbon fibre and graphene hull, ensuring high resistance against corrosion. The yacht’s exterior colour palette is combined of black and chameleon blue-purple colours. Osseo will feature a beach club under a semi-transparent roof and tinted glass, suitable for all-day use.#3. New details about Rosetti 52m Supply Vessel Yacht.The idea behind this 52-metre Supply Vessel, developed by the Rosetti Superyachts with the Italian designer Giovanni Griggio, Phi Design, Lab is to combine the functionality typical of a supply vessel with the design features and quality finish of a superyacht. The project is based on a biomimetic concept: it’s inspired by the vein structure of leaves, with stylistic features adopted both on the outer hull and in the interiors#4. Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly's classic Riva yacht to be auctioned in May 2019.RM Sotheby’s has introduced one of the lots of the forthcoming Villa Erba auction, including the 1950s Riva yacht, once part of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly’s fleet. Several years ago, the vessel was sent to a Dutch specialist for renovation. The refit works took several years, returning the yacht to her original specification, with her original engines restored. The yacht was refurbished, while her Chris-O-Matic transmission was also rebuilt.#5. TOP 5 photos of the week.Yacht Harbour looks at the best images from the social media world over the past week.#6. Big Game: 5 of the largest sportfish yachts ever built.Combining performance and practicality, sportfisher yachts are always built with game-fish in mind. They do not need to be large, and the key qualities such yachts should provide are comfort, high speed, stability, and reliability. In average, they measure 29.6 metres with interior volume of 160 GT. Still, some vessels stand out, exceeding general sizes. Yacht Harbour takes a look upon 5 of the largest fishing yachts built.#7. Princess X95: luxury SUV of the seas.British builder Princess Yachts has offered a more in-depth look at what it calls the "luxury SUV of the seas." X95 is the yard's joint project with Bernard Olesinski and Italian design house Pininfarina. A 30-metre yacht features increased interior volume, achieved with flybridge and the interior space of the main deck occupying almost the entire length of the yacht. Equipped with all necessary yacht X95 is designed for long journeys with a distance of up to 2000 nautical miles and has a speed of up to 26 knots.#8. Feadship largest superyacht 110m Anna prepares for summer season.The 110 metre Anna, a flagship of the Dutch shipyard Feadship, has returned to the brand’s Amsterdam facility for maintenance works ahead of summer season. As commissioned by her owners, the four-deck displacement yacht will undergo several “minor works”, one year after her launch.#9. Ferretti Group raises its net profit to € 31 million and closes Wally’s acquisition.The Ferretti Group has presented its financial results of 2018, indicating the company’s growth and financial solidity. The company's profits through PAT (Profit After Taxes) made € 31 million, increasing at 29% compared to 2017. The Group has also announced the closing of the acquisition of Wally, a Monegasque brand founded in 1994 by Luca Bassani. #10. 7 largest yachts built by Perini Navi.A pioneer in automation and furling systems on large sailing yachts, Italian shipyard Perini Navi was founded in 1983 by Fabio Perini. The builder has constructed 61 motor and sailing superyachts so far, with an average LOA of 49 metres. Meanwhile, the company’s legendary Maltese Falcon remained the world’s largest sailing yacht until 2017.
65m Galactica Star on sealed bid sale after Nigerian corruption case
Heesen' second largest yacht Galactica Star is being offered for sale in a sealed bid arrangement starting on April 4, 2019 with the close of bidding on May 19th. The sale process was proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and approved by U.S. federal court, as a part of ongoing corruption case against two Nigerian nationals, according to The Marine News.The sale follows a court-ordered seizure of the yacht's owner's assets due to possible connections to an ongoing Nigerian oil corruption scandal, triggered by the Panama Papers investigation.The superyacht was allegedly bought by Nigerian oil magnate Kolawole Aluko, who is one of four defendants accused of cheating Nigeria out of almost $1.8 billion in siphoned crude oil sales, reports The Marine News. The U.S. government also accused Aluko and another oil executive, Olajide Omokore, of laundering money in the United States and using it to acquire the yacht, among other assets.The US and Nigerian governments received Federal Court approval to sell the superyacht last month in Texas. According to Law360, a legal news source, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison approved it due to high maintenance and dockage fees, estimating the combined cost at around $170,000 per month.The sealed bid will be managed by Fraser, with the MRP set at $42,000,000. Following the close of bidding, the winning bidder will have five days to deposit five percent of the accepted total into an escrow account.Custom motor yacht Galactica Star was built by Heesen in Netherlands at their Oss shipyard and delivered to her owner in 2013. She features exterior styling by Omega Architects, and engineering by Van Oossanen & Associates. Meanwhile, the yacht's interior has been designed by Bannenberg & Rowell. Galactica Star accommodates up to 12 guests overnight in 6 cabins, comprising a master suite, 1 VIP stateroom, and 4 double cabins. She is also capable of carrying up to 13 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience. The most alluring feature about the vessel is what goes on below the waterline. Van Ossaanen Naval Architects successfully created a yacht that cruises 30% more efficiently than a conventional round-bilged motor yacht in this size range. Powered by 2 MTU 5,592 HP diesel engines and propelled by twin screw propellers, Galactica Star is capable of a top speed of 27 knots, and comfortably cruises at 24 knots. With her 90,000 fuel tanks she has a maximum range of 4,200 nautical miles at 14 knots. Her water tanks store around 30,000 litres of fresh water. The yacht used to be popular for charter among celebrities, for instance, once rented by American music industry power couple, Jay Z and Beyonce for a holiday cruise, according to WithinNigeria.
63m Hakvoort explorer superyacht Scout delivered
Dutch builder Hakvoort has announced delivery of the 63.72-metre superyacht Scout, that departed from Amsterdam facility on April 16th. The vessel is trademarked with interiors and exteriors by H2 Yacht Design, representing the builder’s largest project so far seconded by 61-metre Just J's.Scout during her sea trials.Scout was launched at Hakvoort’s facilities in Monnickendam in December 2018 and then towed to Amsterdam for final completion. First known as Project Brio, the yacht started construction under a different ownership, changing owners early on and shifting the project to the steel and aluminium explorer that it is today. The owner’s brief called for a rugged explorer style yacht intended to look like a conversion from a commercial vessel,commented H2's Jonny Horsfield, who was responsible for the vessel’s naval architecture. We placed the tenders on the bow, leaving them exposed to add to the utilitarian aesthetic. There is a helideck and a forward observation lounge in addition to an expansive sun deck.Scout features four guest cabins each designed with a specific nautical theme on the main deck, in addition to the owner's deck. Furthermore, eleven staff cabins can be found on the lower deck. Exterior design details such as Scout’s high bow, exposed tenders in the bow with cut-down bulwarks and integrated forward-sloping windows embody the trawler-aesthetic of her design. Other Scout’s notable features include a helideck as well as an expansive sun deck complete with large Jacuzzi and unobstructed views fore and aft.Powered by twin CAT engines, Scout will cruise at 12.5 knots and reach a top speed of 14.8 knots. Her maximum range will be at 4,800 nautical miles once delivered, coupled with an ice-class hull.The yacht will now embark her maiden voyage to the USA. The delivery takes place in the time when explorer yachts are becoming a new trend of the yachting world, with the world’s largest 182.9 -metre explorer project REV under construction at the VARS shipyard.Photos via Hakvoort